Cargo at Heathrow flies high with 19th consecutive month of growth

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Cargo volumes at Heathrow Airport have grown for the 19th consecutive month with a year-on-year increase of five per cent in February.

The London airport handled 133,140 tonnes in February on the back of growth in North American and East Asian markets.

In the first two months of 2018, Heathrow has handled 266,170 tonnes, up six per cent on 2017 and has handled 1,713,412 tonnes on a rolling 12-month basis from March 2017 to February 2018, an increase of 10.4 per cent.

Chief executive officer, John Holland-Kaye says: “Today’s figures show that Heathrow is filling up fast – if we don’t act soon to expand our nation’s global gateway, the UK will only fall further behind our European rivals. A prosperous, global-trading Britain needs an expanded Heathrow now.”

The airport says that the record cargo performance is putting increased strain on Britain’s infrastructure and underscores the need to expand Heathrow.

It says that six key trading routes that account for nearly 20 per cent of the trade through Heathrow are already full including Shanghai, Tokyo, Delhi, Mumbai, Los Angeles and Dubai.

Earlier this month Heathrow released its first Export Climate Index to track the health of the UK’s exports, and the report found that they were at their strongest position since 2000, which the airport says is a positive sign as the UK looks to leave the European Union.

The quarterly index commissioned by Heathrow and carried out by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) considers measures including Heathrow flight numbers.

The CEBR says that over the past decade, Heathrow’s share in the value of non-EU export goods held steady around 30 per cent but the value of this cargo has grown by over 150 per cent.

It says that in 2017 alone, £48.9 billion worth of UK exports bound for destinations outside the EU and Switzerland flew through Heathrow, showing the airport’s role as the main gateway for UK exports bound for outside the EU, and it’s role to facilitate UK trade post-Brexit.